Health

Try these natural ways to strengthen your bones.

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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The harsh winter season can make your bones and joints swell, causing pain. Try these expert-backed tips to strengthen your bones.

Bones are an integral part of our bodies. Not only do they provide structure and strength, but also anchor muscles and protect organs. No wonder, it is essential to strengthen our bones naturally, so as to prevent joint pains and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Neglecting bone health can lead to loss of calcium in the body, which in turn, can affect your bones and joints. Dr Hansaji Yogendra, owner of The Yoga Institute, in a YouTube video shared, “Modern-day eating habits have taken a toll on our bones. Lack of calcium and various other vitamins and minerals makes them weaker, leading to conditions like osteoporosis”.

joint pain
Joint pain is common during the winter season. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here are 5 natural ways Dr Yogendra recommends to strengthen our bones:

1. Include magnesium in your morning meal

Magnesium-rich foods like nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, and seeds like chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, soya seeds, and many other varieties can help enhance bone health. Also, it can boost your bone density and strengthen your bones.

Expert tip: Soak these nuts and seeds overnight, before consuming them in the morning.

Suggestions for consuming chia seeds:

Have a glass of warm water or warm lemon water along with chia seeds, first thing every morning. You can soak chia seeds for 10 mins before you consume them. Chia seeds contain magnesium and lemon contains vitamin C, and both these ingredients help to strengthen bone health. 

2. Include calcium as part of your lunch

Our bones and teeth are made of calcium, which also means that it is one of the most vital minerals for bone health. Our body requires 1000 mg of calcium per day, which is why you must follow these tips:

  • Include curd with your lunch
  • Consume dairy products like paneer
  • Add green leafy vegetables, as they are a rich source of magnesium and calcium
  • For better absorption of calcium, various vitamins are required. Hence, try and get some sun for at least 30 minutes.
joint pain
Consume calcium in moderation! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Consume protein-rich snacks

Remember, 50 percent of our bones are made up of protein. Adequate protein intake is highly essential for bone growth. Plus, it also helps in the absorption of calcium.

Here are a few foods which you can add to your breakfast or snack time:

  • Add peanuts to your diet. Before consumption, make sure you boil them in salted water. It is one of the richest sources of protein.
  • Also, you can add a handful of roasted chana. 
  • Another dish which you can add in your diet is hummus. Not only is it super healthy, but it tastes absolutely delicious!  You can consume it with either chapati or bread, or eat it as it is.

4. Have a glass of milk before sleeping

Having a glass of milk at bedtime is particularly helpful for your bone health. It has numerous benefits and contains several nutrients, including protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B12.

Moreover, Ayurveda says that a glass of milk consumed at night with a pinch of haldi, promotes what is known as ojas. It is a state that is marked by proper digestion and helps with sound sleep.

joint pain
Milk is an essential source of calcium. Image courtesy: Unsplash

5. Try weight-bearing asanas

These asanas can help you to prevent joint pain and strengthen your bones. 

Here are a few weight bearing asanas that can help you in the prevention of osteoporosis: 

  • You can perform one-legged postures like ekapadasana and natarajasana. 
  • You can also perform adho mukha svanasana. In this asana, you need to bend forward, keep the weight on your arms, lift your buttocks up and ensure that your body forms a V.
  • You can also add anti-gravity asanas, namely viparita karani and sarvangasana.
  • You could also add skipping as part of your routine, along with a few kilometres of brisk walking. 

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